MARCH 2019

Innovation Review

Monthly information on a variety of economic, business, and technology related legal news as well as highlights and profiles of resources and events across New York state.


News From The Center


NYSSTLC Publishes Latest Guidebook on IP Rights In Software

The New York State Science & Technology Law Center is pleased to share its IP Rights in Software Guidebook. The new guidebook addresses how to use patent, trade secret and copyright protection to maximize the commercialization potential of new software. To access the new IP Rights in Software Guidebook, click here.


IP/Regulatory Law Watch


US Patent and Trademark Office Announces Revised Guidance for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility

In January 2019, the USPTO issued Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance.  The guidance referenced the need for consistent application of the Alice/Mayo test when considering subject matter eligibility under 35 USC §101.  When examiners identify a potential judicial exception to eligibility – abstract idea, law of nature, or a natural phenomenon – they then need to determine if the claim as a whole integrates the abstract idea, law of nature, or natural phenomenon into a practical application. If so, further patentability analysis can proceed. In addition, Computer- Implemented Functional Claim Limitations Guidance was promulgated. To learn more about the guidelines, click here.

supreme court

Supreme Court Rules that Copyright Owners Must Wait for Registration to Sue

The US Supreme Court recently ruled that copyright owners must wait for registration before pursuing infringement claims in court. Previously solely applying for registration fulfilled the statutory prerequisite for a lawsuit. Before the ruling, it was common in copyright law for plaintiffs to seek application for registration only days before filing a complaint in court. Following the Court’s unanimous decision,  registration must be completed before pursuing claims. To learn more about the ruling, click here.


USPTO Monthly Profile

Each month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) highlights an inventor or entrepreneur for its Journeys of Innovation series. This month features Frances Arnold, the 2018 Nobel laureate in chemistry. She figured out how to engineer new versions of catalysts by understanding the evolutionary process.  Last month featured Lonnie Johnson, an inventor and engineer best known for his most famous commercial success, the Super Soaker. Johnson has received more than 100 patents for inventions across his career, including ones for new types of batteries, engines and spacecraft. Currently, Johnson is developing an advanced battery technology that would expand energy storage capability in batteries.


Around New York State


Medical Device Innovation Challenge Accepting Applications

The 2019 Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC) at CNY Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) is accepting applications through May 31, 2019. Funded by NYS Empire State Development, the competition provides research and development opportunities to its chosen participants. These include 6-months of free workspace at CNYBAC; access to SUNY Upstate Medical University research and clinical experts; and resource assistance and networking opportunities through the Syracuse Innovation Connectors ecosystem, among a variety of other benefits. To learn more about the Medical Device Innovation Challenge and apply, click here.


Governor Cuomo Announces 43North Companies Have Created More Than 400 Jobs in Western New York

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced at the Inaugural Ignite Buffalo JobCade Event that 43North has created more than 400 jobs across the Western New York region. 43North is a startup competition that invests $5 million annually to draw startups to Western New York and help develop their growth. Funded annually by New York State, Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority, the competition has invested in 44 companies to date. The job creation has allowed Buffalo to become an innovation hub for entrepreneurial startups. Since receiving funding from 43North, the startup companies have raised an additional $200 million in venture capital. To learn more about the job creation, click here.

ny gov

New York State Announces $250M Westchester Clean Energy Action Plan

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Department of Public Service (DPS) and New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently announced the Westchester Clean Energy Action Plan. The plan, which is in direct response to Con Edison’s claims of a shortage in natural gas, aims to provide immediate relief to Westchester County businesses and residents by investing in clean energy alternatives. This will include electric heat pumps, high-efficiency appliances, equipment and building materials. The plan looks to lower energy costs for consumers and accommodate new ones, while also reducing energy consumption equivalent to the amount of gas needed to heat more than 90,000 homes. In addition to the plan, the State will launch a consumer awareness campaign led by NYSERDA to help the community understand their resources and how to access them. To learn more about the Westchester Clean Energy Action Plan, click here.


Around New York State: Spotlight On Mohawk Valley


This month the Innovation Review explores the Mohawk Valley region. The region is in the geographic center of upstate New York, including Oneonta and Utica. Cybersecurity is a keystone industry base in the Mohawk Valley, housing firms including BAE Systems, AFRL and Black River Systems. In addition to cybersecurity, Mohawk Valley is home to other thriving industry clusters such as agriculture, financial services, IT, and materials processing. The region’s academic and research institutions include the Advanced Institute for Manufacturing and the Mohawk Valley Farm . Additionally, the region is home to Griffiss International Airport, one of six national sites testing the commercial use of unmanned aerial systems. Below is a summary of some of the region’s centers and programs.


Advanced Institute for Manufacturing

The Advanced Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) is a NYSTAR Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center (MEP) housed at Mohawk Valley Community College. AIM provides small and medium-sized manufacturers in the Mohawk Valley region with training, consulting, and technology services. The center aims to spark new product developments, reduce costs and increase efficiency and profits for the businesses it works with. AIM works with businesses in the electronics, food & beverage, metal & wood, and textile & leather industry. To learn more about the Advanced Institute for Manufacturing, click here.



thINCubator is a New York State Certified Business Incubator and Innovation Hotspot located at Mohawk Valley Community College. The incubator works to develop a community around entrepreneurship to spark collaboration and best utilize surrounding talents. Additionally, thINCubator provides a variety of programming to support local entrepreneurship in all stages of growth, including networking opportunities, workshops and bootcamps. The incubator also offers high-tech facilities and co-working spaces to its teams, and has worked with a diverse range of companies including BB Designs, Utica Bike Rescue and FMN Creative. To learn more about thINCubator, click here.


Mohawk Valley Farm & Food Business Incubator

Mohawk Valley Farm is a New York State Certified Business Incubator and Innovation Hotspot and a partnership of SUNY Cobleskill and the Center for Agriculture Development . FFBI provides business training and product development facilities for new and developing farm and food entrepreneurs. The incubator tailors its programming to each individual client’s needs, including customized support and mentoring. Additionally, FFBI provides participants with access to services and resources through educational programming with local and national experts. Its specific services include business, market and financial planning; access to capital; scaling up; branding, advertising and packaging; and a host of other growth opportunities. To learn more about Mohawk Valley Farm & Food Business Incubator, click here.


Griffiss Institute Certified Business Incubator

The Griffiss Institute (GI) is a New York State Certified Business Incubator and Innovation Hotspot established in 2002. The Institute encourages and facilitates collaboration between private industry, academia and the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate (AFRL/RI) in developing solutions to cyber security issues. Additionally, GI aims to build upon AFRL/RI developed technologies to further strengthen national security. The Institute hopes to foster technological growth and innovation in Upstate New York through its collaborative research environment that will lead to new information science solutions and business opportunities locally and nationally. To learn more about the Griffiss Institute, click here.



Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Logo rpi

CFES Technology Conference

On April 10, 2019, the RPI Center for Future Energy System (CFES) will host its annual technology conference. The event, which will run all day, features three parallel tracks: advanced energy material technologies; solar and wind devices; and integration of distributed and offshore energy resources. To learn more about the CFES Technology Conference, click here.


E^3 Early Stage and Angel Investor Conference and NY Business Plan Competition

April 25 – 26, 2019 – Sage Armory, Albany, NY

This two-day event will feature opportunities for angel investment groups to learn about best practices, and on April 26th, an Entrepreneurship Expo and pitch day from top students teams across New York on April 26th. Students will pitch at the annual NY Business Planning Competition. To learn more about the E cubed conference and business planning competition, click here.


Li-Ion Cells Manufacturing Seminar

June 20-21, 2019 – RIT Battery Prototyping Center, Rochester, NY

The RIT Battery Prototyping Center and Shmuel De-Leon Energy will host an educational battery seminar on June 20-21, 2019. The event will feature scientific lectures on battery materials and technology, and hands-on training in manufacturing technology. Academic and industry experts will be present at the seminar and participate in the practical training. To learn more about the Li-Ion Cells Manufacturing Seminar, click here.

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